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4 habits that cause burnout and overwhelm for high-achievers (and how to shift them).

Mar 08, 2024


Why high-achievers often feel overwhelmed.

High achieving professionals have a habit of going above and beyond.

That has given them the ability to excel, but it has also created overwhelm and left them longing for more fulfillment in their lives.

At some point, going above and beyond becomes spreading themselves so thin there's little time to build a consistent workout routine, make time for their relationships or themselves, and accomplish personal goals like launching a business or project. They don't have the time to think, be, or rest, which causes them to live life in-and-out of burnt out. 

Sound familiar? If so, continue reading.
In this blog, we'll talk about 4 habits these achievers possess that create overwhelm and how to shift them to eliminate overwhelm from their life.


Number One: Overworking (Overachieving)

Achievers achieve because they were raised to do so. 
They were groomed to excel. They were praised for their accomplishments and often expected to maintain high levels of success.
Now as an adult, even though you're already outperforming others, you often think about how you could be even better or close the gaps created by those around you.
While you're focused on supporting others or collecting additional accolades, titles, and recognition you often fail to see the impact this has to your life.

Overachieving creates overwhelm by creating more responsibility.

You excel at work, you're responsible for more work.
You get a promotion at work, you're responsible for managing more people or more work.
You get a raise at work you're responsible for managing more money.

More responsibility means more decision-making.

Achievers are already exhausted from all the decisions that need to be made every single day. By adding more responsibility, more decisions need to be made, thus adding more overwhelm.

Despite how good it may feel to be recognized or helpful, learn how to do just enough (which is likely more than what others are doing anyways). This can be accomplished by creating boundaries around your work and guidelines that will help you identify what work energizes you, what should be completed by you, and what work should be left for others.


Number Two: Overcommitting

WHEW. This is a big one.
Achievers were raised in environments that expected the very best of them at all times.
They were praised for getting the best grades and their ability to juggle multiple things as once like being top of their class, while participating in extracurriculars like dance, piano, girl scouts and more.

As adults, this habit continues. While focusing on maintaining a high-performance standard at work, you are also, obtaining graduate degrees or launching a business while trying to care for yourself, spend time with friends and family and make time for hobbies like painting, acting, or piano. 

No one knows this, but you judge yourself by their ability to juggle multiple things at once perfectly. Falling short of perfection often results in trying harder, which can sometimes result in adding even more to an already full plate.

Overcommitting creates overwhelm by exhausting your energy.

Achievers overcommit their lives in many ways:

  • adding more to the  to-do list or schedule than you can manage
  • saying yes to friends, family and co-workers even when you don't have the capacity or energy.
  • adding more to your homes than you can actually use or manage

To shift the habit of overcommitting, learn to say no. This can be accomplished by learning how to create boundaries around your time and guidelines that help you identify when to yes to a commitment and when to say no (without feeling guilty).


Number Three: Overthinking

High-achievers have lived a life that was defined by making the right choice.
They've often excelled by following the path, rubric, or guidelines that were provided to them.

✅ Study or complete the right information ➡️ get an A.

✅ Go to college, complete an internship ➡️  land a good job.

✅ Get a secondary degree ➡️  get promoted.

✅ Practice the piano regularly ➡️ perform well at the recital.

Having guidelines has been a helpful tool for structing your life and identifying next steps. But now as you attempt to create life on your terms, you feel stuck because there's no rubric for navigating the complexities of life. This causes you to think, and think, and think in hopes that you can figure out exactly which choice will be right one.

Overthinking creates overwhelm by delaying action.

Overthinking leads to procrastinating.

Sometimes this can look like bingeing Netflix (see overindulging below). Other times this can look like " productive procrastination".
Productive procrastination gives the feeling of achievement. You are focused on smaller, more appealing, less overwhelming tasks and checking everything off the list except for the very thing that is causing overwhelm.

The laundry gets done, the house is cleaned, that thing your friend needed help with is solved, emails have been cleared out, extra tasked were checked off the to-do list but:

❌ the first draft of your book still needs to be written and shared with your editor

❌ the posts for your social media account still need to be created and scheduled

❌ the conversation you've been meaning to have with your family about boundaries is lingering

❌ the budget or schedule you need to build better routines still needs to be created.


This results in carrying the overwhelm of a decision or project for days (or months) on end. To shift this habit, use the same techniques that help you overcome the habit of overindulging. Continue reading to find out how to change this habit!


Number Four: Overconsumption

This one is a double whammy.

Achievers often overindulge when they are in midst of overthinking a big decision.
They have used escapism throughout your life to manage change. Constant busyness and distraction has allowed them to forget (for just a moment) the decision(s) they face.


Overconsumption creates overwhelm by burdening you with guilt.

Overconsumption creates a multiplied feeling overwhelm because after you've finished overeating, binge watching Netflix, scrolling through Instagram or TikTok, taking an impulsive vacation, or going on a shopping spree, the problem still remains.
That leads to feeling overwhelmed and guilty for how you've used your time (and money) because it hasn't actually solved the problem.

Overconsumption often delays the achievers' decision-making leaving them in a state of overwhelm for an extended period of time. To stop overthinking and overindulging, stop attempting to think and act your way through the overwhelm and instead feel your way through it. When you learn how to recognize how you feel before you begin to overthink and overconsume, then you can create guidelines and systems for what to do instead.


Which of these 4 habits are creating overwhelm in your life?

Inside the Launch Your Lifestyle program you will learn how to eliminate overworking, overcommitting, overthinking, and overconsuming so you can be intentional with your actions and make time for your wellness, relationships, and passions.

Click here to learn more about the program or book a discovery call to discuss how this program can help you create the life you desire!

Join the Launch Your Lifestyle Program.

High-achievers have a lot on their plate. 

Their habits have brought them success, but they also find themselves, overworked, overweight and overwhelmed. 

It's time to eliminate the overwhelm and instead live a successful and fulfilling life where you feel comfortable saying no, creating boundaries around your time, and prioritizing what you desire to create with your life.

Inside of the Launch Your Lifestyle program, we'll teach you how to eliminate overwhelm so you can take intentional action to make time for your wellness, relationships, and passions.

Click to learn about the program.

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